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On Friday afternoon, without much fanfare, the White House revealed a surprise: an Isamu Noguchi sculpture had been acquired for its Rose Garden, making the work the first piece of art by an Asian American artist to enter the White House’s art holdings.

“Thinking of the floor, I made Floor Frame,” Noguchi once said of the work, which has multiple bronze casts.

“I made many other pieces in relation to floor space at that time, but this seemed to best define the essentiality of floor, not as sculpture alone but as part of the concept of floor.”The White House said the work had been acquired in March by the White House Historical Association, which then gifted the sculpture to the White House.

A representative for the White House Historical Association confirmed that the work was acquired at Sotheby’s for $125,000 in a curated contemporary art sale in March.

Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association, said in a statement, “Noguchi’s inclusion in the White House Collection is a worthy testament to his incredible life’s work and is a milestone in our efforts to ensure that Americans from all cultural backgrounds are represented.”

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